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the worst place on earth, you know. and he came back and he stopped, he changed his emphasis from religion to business, in economics- that's how disappointed he was. and he told us that we can't look to go there; he said we have to find our life right here in america. he said that everything we need, we can have it right here in america. so he changed his direction for us, he changed his vision for the future. >> you know, i wanted to run this by you. i don't know if you had a chance- the way i've spoken about it, and we had some notes here, is when we speak about religion, we talk about two very fundamental things, and one is identity- you know, who you are- and one is your relationship with god or with other people. and to try to make sense of elijah muhammad's teaching of nation of islam, i've talked about it in terms of identity being self-esteem and relationship as being empowerment, and that's what african-americans needed because of being marginalized, being pushed aside. does that make any sense? >> well, it comes home very clearly to me. >> yeah. i'm saved! >> yeah, that's what it
is as a professor of historic religion and of islamic studies. >> okay. in our study of religions, you can almost pick up any introduction to religion book and you find the five pillars of islam is usually the way it's presented. but coming from a devout muslim, could you explain the five pillars of islam to us? >> yeah. these five pillars basically are- there are two aspects of- that we just call the five articles of faith, and then the practice of that faith comprised into the five pillars of islam. and the first pillar of islam, it is called shahada- it means bearing witness to the truth- and it goes like that, that i be a witness there is no god but allah, and i bear witness that mohammed is his final the last messenger. now this is a kind of confession out of credal formula, in a sense that anybody who wants to be- join the community of the muslims just has to take the shahada or make- confess that in the public, he will be considered as a muslim. now how one muslim, or a person being a muslim must live as his relation to god, then these are the rest of the other four pillars which explain.
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